Friday, August 14, 2009

Catholic Bishops Announce Formal Break from Obama, Democrats

In contrast to Obama's liberal "Christian" leaders . . .

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a letter condemning the House Democrats' healthcare plan, alleging that the plan's purported prohibition on federal funds for abortion is a "legal fiction."

-- From "U.S. Catholic Bishops: Healthcare Bill Funds Abortion" by Dan Gilgoff, God & Country, U.S. News & World Report 8/13/09

Of course, the House healthcare bill may not be the last word on abortion coverage in the federal healthcare plan, should one pass. But it's unlikely that the Democrats, including President Obama, will heed the bishops' and other social conservatives' call for an outright ban on abortion coverage in health insurance plans that are subsidized with federal funds, including the public option.

And that, along with mounting Democratic support for the Ryan-DeLauro bill on abortion and other reproductive health issues—whose contraceptive funding rules out the U.S. bishops' support—appears to dim prospects for Obama finding common ground with the American Catholic Church on abortion.

Here's an excerpt from the letter [.PDF] that Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, sent to U.S. House members yesterday:

[The House Commerce and Energy Committee] created a legal fiction, a paper separation between federal funding and abortion: Federal funds will subsidize the public plan, as well as private health plans that include abortion on demand; but anyone who purchases these plans is required to pay a premium out of his or her own pocket (specified in the Act to be at least $1.00 a month) to cover all abortions beyond those eligible for federal funds under the current Hyde amendment. Thus some will claim that federal taxpayer funds do not support abortion under the Act.

But this is an illusion. Funds paid into these plans are fungible, and federal taxpayer funds will subsidize the operating budget and provider networks that expand access to abortions.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Refer also to strong statements previously made by Roman Catholic leaders.